Wednesday, January 27, 2010
"Catherine Mann - Dog Days of Writing"
I never thought I'd be the whacky dog lady. The eccentric writer, sure. But the dog lady? Nah. Not me. I'm a clean freak. My pantry's packed with rows of Chlorox wipes and I'm the first the hit the sale bins of anti-bacterial hand Bath and Body Works. I kid you not, this one time I needed to be fingerprinted for approval as a babysitter for DCS, and the fingerprint expert accused me of bleaching off my prints!
Soooo, how does someone like me become the dog lady?
Well, writing is such a solitary profession, I worry about having a life outside my house. (Other than going to Walmart to buy more Chlorox wipes.) A valued mentor of mine once reminded me of the importance of "living your life as you seek to write about the lives of others." With 8 books coming out in 2010, that's easier said than done. Little did I know the answer would be found in my youngest son's service project.
We began fostering motherless puppies for the Humane Society in the beginning of 2009, puppies dumped at the shelter too young to be adopted and in need of extra attention. I expected it to be a frustrating, messy project, but resigned myself to helping my kids learn from the experience - and then move on! We already have two dogs and a cat of our own, after all.
Five weeks later, I realized those four little Rottweiler/Retriever puppies gave far more to me than I did to them. Suddenly, I was out in the world again for their vet visits at the shelter. My family and I spent more time in the yard together - and got to know our neighbors better. In fact, my chronic back troubles eased considerably thanks to the extra walks with my hubby and puppies. My stress level lowered. I sleep better.
And miracle of miracles, I still met my deadlines.
Having found a surprise calling, we fostered 21 puppies overall in 2009, all of which have gone on to be adopted into forever families. As I write this now, three Pomeranian/Chihuahuas are scampering around my feet with our dogs. Sure, I still freak out every now and again, chasing after puppies with Chlorox wipes in my fingerprintless hands. But I'm a much happier and more productive person overall for finding the value in stepping away from the computer and taking in the world around me.
So here's my question for you.... When we foster puppies, we're given the joy of naming them, but sheesh, we're beginning to run out of ideas. What are some of your inspired pet names? And if you've got a fun story behind the name, please do share! I will choose two winners from the wonderful folks who post and send an autographed copy of one of my January releases – RENEGADE (Berkley Sensation) and BOSSMAN’S BABY SCANDAL (Silhouette Desire.)
BOSSMAN'S BABY SCANDAL, Silhouette Desire - On Sale Now! RENEGADE, HOTSHOT & DEFENDER, "Dark Ops," Berkley Sensation - On Sale Now! http://catherinemann.com
USA Today best-seller Catherine Mann pens military romance for Berkley and steamy contemporaries for Silhouette Desire. A RITA award winner, she has over two million books in print in 20 countries. She resides in Florida with her air force flyboy husband, their four kids and menagerie of pets! FMI: http://catherinemann.com